In the late 1940s going into the ‘50s, Entertaining Comics was at the top of the horror comics world with titles like Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, and Haunt of Fear. Each issue was a collection of short stories with fascinating twists and chilling morals, all hosted by iconic joke-spewing characters like the Old Witch, Vault-keeper, and of course Crypt-keeper, who would later be revived through the acclaimed HBO series. The comics inspired a generation of youngsters about the power of storytelling, including Stephen King, who gave a little back with his Creepshow films. Others thought that the stories were too much for young minds (EC editor Will Gaines agreed, saying they were for adult readers). Sixty years ago this June, the matter came before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, and the comics were shut by the resulting Comics Code.
In a fitting manner, EC lives on, perhaps undead, through the work of creators such as Christopher March, publisher of Imperium Comics, in their line Trailer Park of Terror. Rather than just being a remake of the old comics, Trailer Park of Terror takes the classic storytelling modes and gives them a fresh twist. The series is hosted by Norma, an undead denizen of a trailer park whose living life really wasn’t too interrupted by her untimely end and new beginning. She cracks wise with the best of the GhouLunatics, making jokes and even going on strike at one point.
Imperium began the run of Trailer Park of Terror in black-and-whites but moved on, as Will Gaines and EC themselves did, to riveting color. The stories carry the same monstrous shocks and fascinating turns of plot that intrigued a generation. In issue #6, which revisits the iconic layout of the EC cover, we see a zombie looking for a bite to eat after too much partying, the great tragedies of being a werewolf, and a collection of short stories with mutants, demons, and plenty of hilarity. The jokey “trailer trash” theme goes strong through each, such as the zombie rednecks Billy Ray, Cyrus, and Clyde. Artist greats such as Wally Wood, Al Feldstein, and Joe Orlando would be proud of the work of today with zombies, werewolves, and vampires.
Trailer Park goes even further with Halloween specials, featuring a series of introductions where Norma his hunted by a mysterious killer in an arch that makes a multitude of hilarious references to slasher films. Stories are especially macabre as a boy sneaks out to trick-or-treat despite his mother’s warning and a man hunts for his brother in Haiti, where zombies are more than just legend. These chilling stories are worthy of nods from Gaines himself.
Trailer Park of Terror is now rolling on its ninth issue with much more to come.Powered by Sidelines